What Does the Acronym NIMBY Mean?

A Nimby group unreasonably opposes a change in their locale

Text message using NIMBY

You see the expression "NIMBY" in a discussion forum online, and you see that the topic is a heated debate. But what exactly does NIMBY stand for?  

NIMBY Stands for:

Not in My Backyard

How NIMBY Is Used

This expression describes the attitudes of people who vehemently oppose proposed zoning or proposed building development for reasons that are perceived as selfish or snobby. Nimbies might be aware that a proposal has benefits to the greater public but are unwilling to open up their neighborhood to be part of the proposal.

Examples of the NIMBY phenomenon include opposition to the building of a new jail or a drug rehabilitation house in the neighborhood. Although residents might support such projects in other areas, they strongly resist their presence in their own neighborhood. 

Example of NIMBY in Use

Nimbies might oppose an electrical corridor field being turned into a dog park, and then cite false logic as their argument, such as "that land is a beautification area that children should play in."

Here's an example of the NIMBY phenomenon developing in a Facebook comment thread:

Friend #1: "This is ridiculous. The city is rezoning the park to be a dog park. Now we're going to have dog feces stinking up our neighborhood next summer!"

Friend #2: "NIMBY they won't! This is asinine, and I'm going to make sure they know this."

Friend #1: "What do you suggest?"

Friend #2: "City council holds open mic every Thursday and Friday. I'm going to take the morning off work to go down there and protest. If you come along, you will also get ten minutes to use the mic."

Friend #1: "OK, let's do it. This dog park is such a stupid idea."

Friend #2: "Damn straight. And I bet Julie and Greg will join us, too!"

Friend #1: "I could probably get Kristy and Tuan from across the street as well."

NIMBY and NIMBYISM are just some of the many acronyms and colloquialisms you'll find on the internet. As more people participate in online discussions and social media websites, you can expect to see plenty of these cultural acronyms in your web browser.